Karnataka chief secretary Sudhakar Rao is most likely to be appointed as Election Commissioner, according to reliable sources, and the appointment will be announced soon. Chief Election Commissioner T N Gopalswami retires on April 20.
If his appointment goes through, Rao, who is 59 years and six months of age, will be elevated as CEC in 2011 and will get to stay on in office for more than two years, till he reaches the age of 65.
Rao's appointment as chief secretary was challenged. He had joined the Indian Administrative Services in the year 1973 after securing a masters in economics from Delhi University. He also has a masters in public
administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Among other postings, Rao has worked in the finance and home departments of Karnataka, and as chairman of the Bangalore Development Authority, and also as a director in the Prime Minister's Office, where he was involved in policy-making for social development.
He is currently on the Board of Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd, Bangalore Metro
Rail Corporation, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd. Rao was minister of economics in the Indian embassy from 1996 to 2000.
Sudhakar Rao has been a fellow at the Centre of Population and Development Studies at Harvard, a fellow at the National Defense College in New Delhi and adjunct professor in economics at the College of Business Administration at the Old Dominion University. He started his career as a lecturer in economics in Delhi University.
Incidentally, Rao's wife Nirupama Rao is India's ambassador to China. With the appointment of Meera Shankar as ambassador to the United States, Nirupama Rao's chances of becoming foreign secretary are quite bright once the incumbent, Shiv Shankar Menon, retires.